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Europe should stand united on promoting the disability agenda

Europe should stand united on promoting the disability agenda

2011. 05. 25.

In his speech MEP Kósa noted that working on the report and thus acting in the interest of 80 million disabled Europeans was a great honor and responsibility. MEP Kósa underlined that the document could not have came into being without the support of colleagues from all major political groups and their sincere and responsible contribution. The Hungarian MEP has deeply involved several European NGOs to the consultation process as he strongly believes in the fundamental principle for the motto of the disability movement “nothing about us without us”.

In the debate Kósa pointed out that he would like to challenge the recent approaches to disability on a broader basis and within a wider framework at EU level. This would include progressive proposals on the future role of people with disabilities in sustaining an ageing society. The report emphasizes the importance of promoting barrier-free accessibility, including navigation systems tailored to personal needs, for example. The document also deals with the communication needs of the deaf and hard of hearing people. It also urges for an inclusive education system stressing the significance of involving families following UN recommendations (especially in the light of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities adopted in 2006).

In his report Kósa also urges that all member states should ratify not only the convention but the so called “optional protocol” too in order to gear up a real and effective monitoring mechanism and better coordination between states on disability issues. This has happened in the Hungarian Parliament which was one of the first in 2007 to adopt the UN convention unanimously, with all Hungarian parliamentary parties voting united for the convention and the optional protocol too. “It would be a real victory over the past in the long run since disability-related diseases and diminishing obstacles to the services and infrastructure will affect the life of today’s younger generation in the not too distant future because of ageing” – highlighted MEP Kósa.

Background:

Ádám Kósa, the first deaf MEP introduced his report on mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the new EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 in April 2010. The document has been preceded by consultations with NGOs in cooperation with the European Disability Forum on EU level, as well as with organizations representing disabled people in Hungary on national level.

The plenary vote is expected to be held this autumn, before which another public hearing will be organized providing an additional opportunity for NGOs to address their comments.

For further information:
Ádám KÓSA MEP, Tel: +32-2-2847208
Miklós Panyi, EPP Group Press, Communications and Publications Service, Tel: +32-473-866137

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.